Rural Landscape Change: Landscape Practices, Values and Meanings The Case of Jagatpur VDC, Chitwan Nepal
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- Institutt for geografi 
In Nepal the nature conservation practices started during 1970s and the establishment of the Royal Chitwan National Park laid the foundation stone. Though the nature conservation practices in Nepal have undergone changes to date, from purely protective to participatory conservation at the landscape level, the rural people around the conservation areas in general have faced complicated problems due to the restriction on the use of natural resources and the encroachment and threat of wild animals on their agricultural fields, human lives and domestic animals. In this context the present study explores rural landscape change in Jagatpur VDC after the implementation of the Royal Chitwan National Park. The main focus of this study was to look at how the rural landscape practices and the landscape values and meanings have changed over time and space, changing the rural landscape. The subjects were the traditional people and the migrants who were purposively selected using snowball sampling. Data triangulation i.e. structured open ended interviews, informal conversational interviews, observation and photography, were applied to collect the qualitative information. The study shows that rural landscape, as an objective as well as subjective expression of the human cultures on the surface of the earth, has undergone considerable changes after the implementation of the Royal Chitwan National Park. The majority of the farmers have negative attitudes towards these changes. The study reveals that rural landscape practices are interrelated and have undergone changes with varying intensity, which has resulted in changing relationships between human beings and landscape with changing resource utilization. The study shows changes in landscape values and meanings with varying sociospatial dimensions. It also reveals that landscape values and meanings are interrelated and have a close relationship with landscape practices determining the changes in rural landscape. The result emphasizes the importance of values and meanings to understand the intricate relationship between human beings and the landscape. Finally the study suggests the importance of the cultural landscape concept in the nature conservation practice in Nepal.